Post a Comment Print Share on Facebook

European Union: tougher penalties against environmental crime

Environmental crime is a scourge for Europe.

- 8 reads.

European Union: tougher penalties against environmental crime

Environmental crime is a scourge for Europe. In a 2021 report devoted to the subject, the European Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation (Eurojust) sounded the alarm. This crime is, specifies this study, the fourth in the world, with an annual gain estimated at 258 billion dollars. Organized crime has, in fact, invested in this field, because of the “high profits” it provides and the low “risks of detection”. This crime concerns, among other things, waste trafficking, wildlife trafficking - particularly lucrative -, illegal trade in wood, dangerous substances, imports, marketing or use of substances that deplete the ozone layer, etc.

On Tuesday, MEPs toughened the rules and sanctions in a final vote in Strasbourg. The text, which revises the current framework, was adopted with 499 votes in favor and 100 votes against. The list of offenses is extended to the importation and use of mercury and fluorinated greenhouse gases or even the importation of invasive species likely to have harmful consequences on biodiversity. Ecocides - widespread pollution, forest fires, etc. - also fall within the scope of this crime.

In terms of sanctions, fines and prison sentences - up to ten years if the environmental crime causes death - are increased while now being harmonized across the EU. Companies in violation are also in the sights, with fines representing “3% or 5% of their annual global turnover or 24 or 40 million euros” depending on the nature of the violation.

They will be required to restore the degraded environment and compensate for the damage caused. “Anyone occupying a management position in a polluting company can be held responsible, in the same way as the company itself, which constitutes a major step forward. With the introduction of the duty of care, there is no longer any way to hide behind permits or take advantage of legislative loopholes,” said Dutch MEP Antonius Manders, rapporteur of the text. After validation by the Council and publication in the Official Journal of the European Union, Member States will have two years to transpose the directive into their national legislation.

Your Name
Post a Comment
Characters Left:
Your comment has been forwarded to the administrator for approval.×
Warning! Will constitute a criminal offense, illegal, threatening, offensive, insulting and swearing, derogatory, defamatory, vulgar, pornographic, indecent, personality rights, damaging or similar nature in the nature of all kinds of financial content, legal, criminal and administrative responsibility for the content of the sender member / members are belong.